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Tennis: Raducanu wins on Billie Jean King Cup debut to level tie for Britain


FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Champions Tennis - Royal Albert Hall, London, England - November 28, 2021 Emma Raducanu of England celebrates victory in her match against Elena-Gabriela Ruse of Romania

Britain’s Emma Raducanu (REUTERS/file photo)

Emma Raducanu won her Billie Jean King Cup debut to give England a key point in their qualifying round against the Czech Republic with a harrowing 7-5 7-5 win over Tereza Martincova in full conditions. wind in Prague on Friday.

US Open Champion RaducanuThe 19-year-old was playing her first professional match on clay and was slowly adjusting to the surface as she fought back in both sets to level her best draw after Harriet Dart lost to Marketa Vondrousova 6 -1 6-0.

Raducanu trailed 4-5 and saved a set point before winning three serve games to open the opening set. She then trailed 1-4 but rallied to win six of her last seven matches to close out the win.

“It was my first match in the Billie Jean King Cup and represented the team in their first clay court match,” said Raducanu, whose last match on clay was.

“Playing on clay even has to adjust now. With the winds and some tough bounces, it was tough to adjust and adapt to the situation but I’m proud of the way I trained. ”

In her first match as world number one, Iga Swiatek gave Poland a 2-0 lead over Romania with a dominant 6-1 6-0 win over Mihaela Buzarnescu, beating 16 winners to finish winning in 55 minutes.

Prior to that, Elena Rybakina beat Laura Siegemund 6-0 6-1 in just over an hour after Yulia Putintseva beat three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber with a 3-6 6-3 6-2 comeback victory to giving Kazakhstan a 2-0 lead over Germany.

The best qualifier consisted of two singles matches on Friday, followed by two on Saturdays plus a doubles match.

The winners will qualify for the final round in November, with the losers advancing to the playoffs.

Belgium advanced to the final after receiving a romp due to rival Belarus being suspended from international team competitions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Belarus was a major staging area for the invasion, which Russia called a “special operation”.

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